Wednesday, August 22, 2012

By Tanner Shurtz - Columnist

According to Cot’s baseball contracts the Angels have 151MM committed to this years payroll, with only 87.5MM committed to next years squad. The team’s payroll has risen just about every year and this offseason Arte Moreno has shown that he will spend lots of money to contend. Last offseason ownership said they could spend around 15MM…they went on to spend around 30MM, so with that and the new TV deal (which is worth 3 billion over 20 years), no one but the front office is really sure how much they can actually spend.

The team needs upgrades everywhere except the starting lineup; this would leave the rotation, bench and bullpen for upgrades. In the last article I addressed the Angels need in improving their rotation, now its time for the bullpen. The free agents in the bullpen are Hisanori Takahashi, LaTroy Hawkins, and Jason Isringhausen, candidates from in-house are Kevin Jepsen, Michael Kohn, Bobby Cassevah, Steve Geltz, and Brad Mills. So far the only relievers that have a clear spot in the bullpen are Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri, I believe that if the Angels can sign these two free agent relievers they would have a solid pen. These relievers are Jeremy Affeldt and Mike Adams. Affeldt would provide the pen as a necessary second lefty, who is good at getting lefties out, basically replacing Takahashi. Adams would replace the role of Hawkins/Izzy as a good late inning right handed reliever. A contract for Adams would look something like 2/12MM maybe even a third year, and a contract for Affeldt would be close to 3/18MM, maybe less money though.

Player A
Career ERA: 3.75
Career FIP: 3.68
Career K/9: 6.89
Career BB/9: 3.00
Career WHIP: 1.32
Player B (42 games started in career)
Career ERA: 4.04
Career FIP: 3.60
Career K/9: 7.1
Career BB/9: 3.9
Career WHIP: 1.418
Player C
Career ERA: 2.22
Career FIP: 3.17
Career K/9: 12.23
Career BB/9: 4.88
Career WHIP: 1.18
Player D
Career ERA: 2.18
Career FIP: 3.03
Career K/9: 9.1
Career BB/9: 2.6
Career WHIP: 1.033
Players A & B are Downs and Affeldt
Players C & D are Frieri and Adams

(Note that Affeldt did start 42 games in his career, so that will mess the data up a bit)

When making a bullpen, I like to have what I call the “buddy system” usually consisting of a lefty and a righty, with these two additions we would have two buddy systems put into place: Frieri/Downs and Affeldt/Adams. When this system is in place, either pitcher can take on the role of the other, say there’s a tight spot in the 7th inning and we’re up 2-1 with a lefty up, I’d have Downs come up in that situation and if everything works out accordingly, we’d still have a set-up man or two in Adams/Affeldt and a closer in Frieri. I personally believe in having your best reliever coming in at the tightest spot in the game and since most of the relievers I’ve mentioned have some kind of closing experience any one of them can come in to close the game. Now we have 4 relievers in the pen with 2-3 spots open, we need a long-man which I stated in my last piece would be either David  Carpenter, Jerome Williams, Barry Enright, or surprise candidates Bobby Cassevah and Brad Mills. This competition for the long man spot would be in Spring Training and I would expect either Carpenter or Williams to get the job.

My final relief pitcher would be Steve Geltz as he could fit into a 6th or 7th inning role. With all of these additions to the roster it would leave the team with 24 out of the 25 that the team can have, this last spot would go to the bullpen. Candidates for that would be Cassevah, Jepsen, Kohn, or just about any of the Angels relief prospects down in AA or AAA.

Ernsesto Frieri RHP
Scott Downs LHP
Jeremy Affeldt LHP
Mike Adams RHP
Steve Geltz RHP
Jerome Williams/David Carpenter RHP
Bobby Cassevah, Kevin Jepsen, Michael Kohn RHP
Love to hear what you think!

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